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Smuttynose Winter Ale - Smuttynose Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Smuttynose Winter AleSmuttynose Winter Ale

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480 Reviews
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Reviews: 480
Hads: 968
Avg: 3.69
pDev: 11.38%
Wants: 15
Gots: 61 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company visit their website
New Hampshire, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  5.83% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 10-30-2005

Smuttynose Winter Ale is a full-bodied, amber beer brewed with a special Trappist ale yeast. Stylistically reminiscent of a Belgian Abbey Double, it features fruity aromas and flavor, balanced by soft Crystal hops. Warming, mellow & pleasantly complex, Smuttynose Winter Ale is your perfect cold weather companion.

30 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 480 | Hads: 968
Photo of StoutSC1
4.19/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Creamy , warm, smooth with a suttle kick. Im thinking the ABV is a little over 6%. Went in for the OMB Dunkel , and after some prodding by the sales rep, i came out with the Smutty Winter. !st one straight from the bottle. Second one i poured , jus to get a better look, good aroma and nice red head. Really has body and hugs the glass. After #3 i had to rest my eyes

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Photo of Mongrel
3.42/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber with a thin, but lasting head.

Surprisingly creamy, but still carbonated/effervescent.

Slightly sweet and lightly spiced in the holiday sort of way, namely nutmeg. Grows in complexity as it warms, including a grape/raisin layer similar to Raison d’ Etre, probably attributable to the Belgian yeast. Well balanced with cool light hop presence. Smooth and very drinkable.

A good solid representation of the holiday/winter ale class, but not mind-blowing.

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Photo of mattkoon
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer has a great brown color. the smell is malty with some wafts of caramel and vanilla. the taste is bitter and there is almost a blackened quality. there is a slight sweetness there but not much as the smell promises. i havnt had many beers from smutty nose, but this isnt bad at all and i may be inclined to buy some other of their beers.

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Photo of tdm168
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

A - dark amber with a thin lacing of offwhite head that has no retention

S - very little to report; some caramel

T - baked apples, caramel, some grains, faintly metallic finish

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This beer doesn't seem to hit it's mark. For the most part the aroma and flavor try to survive on caramel malt alone with some esters trying to help out in the flavor. Unfortunately, a few off flavors creep in that detract from what this beer could have been. I'm glad I tried it once, but in my opinion there are better winter offerings and better Dubbels on the market.

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Photo of viverlee
2.99/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The big boys want to lump – at the bottom mind you – this brew with the Abbey Dubbels. I’m going to make my own call here. It’s a seasonal brew with the marketing to match. Plus the spice bite, delicate sweetness, and semi-robust ABV just aren’t there.

STYLE: Winter Warmer

ABV: 5.8%

LOOK: The body really isn’t there either. A rich, oaky brown carries the load. Soft head, softer lacing and retention.

NOSE: Whoppers, raisins, cherries.

MOUTH: Fizz deep in the back of my throat – that’s my first impression. Not the staid malt, not the toffee dash. Odd because I remember liking it more on Xmas Eve and even thinking it better than what it replaced, my local Xmas Ale, Christkindl. Jammy toast and small purple fruits let you know what could be. But overall a little too balanced for this style.

Beeradvocate Rating: 84

ratebeer Rating: 81

Hayward Abbey Rating: 77

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Photo of jlindros
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Tap at Texas bbq in Northborough, MA.

Light creamy head with touch of lacing, hazy mahogany dark brown colored.

Nose slight sweet malty aromas, toasty brown malts, light brown sugar, caramel, sweet molasses and hint of toffee, fairly nutty too almost hazelnut.

Taste starts slightly creamy, toasty brown malts, light caramel brown sugar sweet molasses and toffee but all very light, fairly nutty and toasty as well. Light grassy earthy hops in the back end with some mild bitterness. The hops start to turn herbal and not so tasty as it goes. Finish is syrupy with lingering candy syrup, nutty, toffee, caramel brown sugar and mild bitterness lingering.

Mouth is med bodied, bit syrupy, decent carb.

Overall decent, not great. I wouldn't call this remotely a dubbel, more like a winter brown, some interesting flavors,but a bit too syrupy and too much of the not so great hops.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer was served a dark brown color with a little bit of ruby highlights when held to the light. Upon serving there was a one finger cream colored head that faded over a moderate amount of time to leave a lighter level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was sweet and fruity. Cherries, raisin, and a bit of apple were mixed with a caramel and brown sugar smell. With these aromas was a lighter roasted malt smell.

Taste – The flavor begins with a dark roasted brown bread and dark fruit flavor. While there are flavors of cherry and apple in the taste, they are much lighter then the nose would have let on. While supposedly brewed with no spices light spiced flavors quickly come to the tongue with them initially being of a more allspice and ginger flavor. Toward the end the flavor sweetens a bit with some caramel flavors coming to the tongue. These flavors are accompanied by a bitter cocoa and which when combined with the rest take the taste to its end.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer was average in terms of creaminess/thickness with a carbonation level that was rather average as well. A slightly thicker body may have been a bit better, but all in all the mouthfeel was fine.

Overall – A nice blend of malt, sweet fruit and sugar tastes. It is a rather balanced winter style ale that is well worth a try.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A light yet very enjoyable session beer. Much less abv than most dubbels; yet, it has many classic features of that style, including the beautiful color and head, smooth yeasty smell and taste, and good balance. It might be a little light for some, but the taste is still appealing. It's easy to drink a couple of these or more. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of bnes09
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep mahogany and mostly transparent. Weak head on the pour which disappears quickly and leaves no lacing.

Lots of sweets and spices in the aroma. Nutmeg and just a hint of Belgian yeast.

Wheat bread malt backbone. Burnt brown sugar. Mild roasted character. Dark fruits, mostly raisins. Lots of nutmeg. Descent balance.

Medium bodied, well carbonated with a grainy texture. Dry finish with lingering spices.

Descent winter ale. Complex and balanced.

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Photo of alexgash
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle.

Darkish, murky, garnet-amber. Small, yet persistent, light rose-tinted khaki head. Nice lacing. Nose is a mix of fruit, caramel, and spicy yeast. Light banana and tropical fruit. Raisins. Caramel roll. Definite Belgian-y yeast.

Lightly toasted malt up front. Tangy, sweetish fruit fills in. Tropical-y and banana-y. Caramelly, biscuity malt underneath. Yeasty finish is spicy with a hint of bitterish banana aftertaste. Medium bodied with a lively feel. Not bad, overall, but could use a little oomph to help bring a little more complexity and bring everything together better.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Auburn ale holds a tight bone-white head of maybe 3/4". Medium lace.

Has a Madagascar vanilla aroma with some light cinnamon and coriander and orange peel notes. Smells sweet and mild with a bit of toasty bitterness.

Gooey toffee, caramel, and vanilla are upfront with a backing of citrus peel and wintry spices. Cinnamon and grape and maple and cream soda. Actually, quite the vibe of vanilla cream soda. Toastiness is a secondary element and the hops are very quiet. Just a glass of Christmas-y malty goodness.

Has a spiking carbonation that reaches above the limits of medium. The body is rustled, but allows for some milkiness as it goes down. Pit-of-stomach warmth is very much welcomed as the booze sneaks right past the palate.

What!? This is a Belgian dubbel!? Hey, a good winter warmer this would make, but a dubbel? No dice, grandma.

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Photo of silverking
4.17/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a slightly hazy, dark, brownish-red with a light tan head. the head fades slowly leaving a thin ring of foam with beautiful lacing that cascades down the side of the glass after holding for a few seconds. The smell is remeniscent of a glass of red wine. Grape with some plum, cocoa, vanilla, spices, roasty malts and finally hops. The aroma is terrifically complex. It has a rich, thick mouthfeel with medium carbonation. The taste starts off light and fruity, but turns into a hoppy, spicy, earthy brew for the finish. The malt comes through a lot more in the taste. It finishes semi-dry with some dark cocao and coffee notes, along with a sweet yeastiness to round it all out. Definately a home-run from the Smuttynose brewery.

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Photo of babaracas
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky reddish brown with two fingers thick tan colored foam, settles slowly to a thin ring leaving a sheet of delicate lace for the first couple of inches. Smell: toasted wheat bread, red grape, caramel, floral and mildly earthy with a little black pepper. Taste: toast, caramel, peppery and midly earthy, plum skin, pear, unfiltered apple juice. Light bodied initially but very creamy feel, finishing dry and slightly sweet with some lingering tannic bitterness (peanut skin). Maybe not a standout, but I thought this was pretty solid. Best before 5/12/13.

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Photo of mnrider
3.29/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz. Brown Bottle. Has Freshness Date.

A: Pours a dark brown color with hints of red around edges. An off-white
head starts one finger high and quickly turns to a thin layer. Foamy lacing
slides down glass.

S: Light creamy caramel. Other light spices and fruits are mixed in.

T/M: Smooth and full bodied. Dark fruits are mixed with yeast and just
a hint of hops. Roasted malts are also present and somewhat create a
balance in the beer.

O: This Winter Ale is easy to drink and a good choice for the winter months.
However overall the beer is on the plain side and leaves me wanting a little
more on the taste side of things. Still worth a look.


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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

the color of this one is deep copper redish, pretty clear, with a few inches of finely laced tan foam. the nose is richly malty, complex, ranging from american amber to english caramel and beyond. there is a toffee sort of sweetness too, and more alcohol hanging around than the abv gives away. the flavor confirms that this is definitely a malt heavy beer, which is nice in this context without all the usual spice that typifies the style. like a christmas cookie or loaf of bread, rummy, tasty. the sweetness does not linger on in the finish, and it actually ends on a dry note. the flavors a good, but they all seem a little muted to me. not the depth of flavor i am used to in these often very robust beers. lots of body and an appropriate level of carbonation. not my favorite of the winter releases, but an easy drinking brew nevertheless.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.23/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark reddish brown, thick retained head of white foam. Sticky. Strong dark fruity nose, some spices. Strong fruity taste. Somewhat of a masked hop at the close. Mellow malty flavor. Almost a red wine flavor too. Really flavorful. Nice spin on winter.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a vibrant, clear, hazelnut coloring with a sparse, filmy white coating on the surface. Aromas of roasty nut and biscuit in the backbone, with a solid spicing of nutmeg and cinnamon rounding out the sweet, rich flavors. Some fruity highlights in the back of the nose, also. Flavors of deep, dark, old world fruit, including prune and date, with an earthy undertone that keeps the richness in check. Spicing takes a backseat, but is present enough to perk the taste buds out of the sweetness shock by the end of the palate. Sweet and spicy blend on the aftertaste, which is fairly shortlived despite the robust initial flavors. The beer is smooth and round, but the spicing and carbonation does well to keep it light in mouth. Frothy, slightly sweet lingering finish. Very tasty.

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Photo of ColdWaffles
3.86/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Dark, dark amber with a tannish/off-white head.

Smell: Could be the bottle, but I'm not picking up much. Maybe some vanilla.

Taste: Reminds me a lot of Harpoon Dark. Definitely vanilla, but not much else in terms of spice. It is sweet, but not too sweet. Really makes me want some nice cheddar cheese. This is a relaxer, and something I would definitely enjoy Christmas day if I had cases available in my market.

Mouthfeel: Smooth! Yet still pretty carbonated. Very nice drink. Easily the best quality of this beer.

Like I said, I'd probably have this for the family if it was more widely available in my market. I can imagine this being a good holiday beer for "average" drinkers. I like it well enough either way.

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Photo of Chadpaq
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased recently at Lighthouse Beer and Wine in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Must plug this place every time, regardless of how deaf the ears to which said plug falls upon are. Great store.

Dark Amber; translucent; a shiny Tootsie Roll. The creamiest head--a single finger--that receded quickly, but which left a milky, frothy film on the surface like a cup of hot chocolate. O yea, this is a Winter beer.

Chocolatey, in spite of everything. I think I even smell a Tootsie Roll. Subtle; no alcohol. Guess it isn't the highest gravity brew out there, but any minutiae of booze is completely masked. I don't know too much about Dubbels, but I have to believe this is on the more subtle end of their spectrum. In that regard, it's a preference thing. In my opinion, the subtle chocolatey scent works well for this beer.

It really tastes like--and I know I'm dwelling on this, but it really tastes like Tootsie Rolls! Delicious. I've been sipping for ten minutes, and only now am I beginning to feel a little warmth in my chest. This is welcomed, pleasant, and--yes!--subtle. This is no bourbon. There's no alcohol on the palate, but the near-six percent emerges a little after ten minutes' worth of drinking, not on the tongue but in the heart. It's getting colder out there, even in North Carolina. This is the right beer for tonight.

As creamy as the previously-mentioned hot chocolatey film atop the beer would imply. Smooth, subtle carbonation. Thick, pushing viscous. Satisfying. Full, yet somehow, not heavy.

This beer's worth drinking several times over the holidays.

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Photo of BrownAleMale
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Gulden Draak tulip glass

Appearance- A cloudy dark brown with a finger and a half of tan head that dissipates into a thin layer on the walls of the glass. Very small amount of spotty spotty lacing.

Smell- A bubblegum scent is what 1st hits me then is followed by a fruity(banana)ester and some carmel and chocolate undertones.

Tatse- Just like the nose Im getting this fruity bubblegum flavor. Im not really getting to much malt flavors, and different in flavor then anything Ive ever had.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with a good amount of carbonation and a semi dry finish. Very drinkable!

Overall- Doesnt seem really winter like, but I enjoy the unique flavors. The flavor and smell on this beer might have been the most difficult for me to ID, but it is very tasty!

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Photo of AdamBear
2.91/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-nice cloudy brown with a thin cream colored head

S-not much going on except a faint scent of belgian sugars and caramel. maybe a hint of vanilla somehow. not much here.

T-comes in with an oddly aged flavor of peppery grains. it is not a flavor i love. it just tastes off. to me, this tastes like an american dubbel way past its prime. i'm really not a big fan of this.

M-medium creamy carbonation with a fairly dry finish

O-I don't like this. it doesn't taste like a good dubbel. it's an odd dubbel, even for an American brewery. I expect more from Smutty. it almost tastes adjunct to me.

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Photo of SerialHiker
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark, deep mahogany…very dense…some head did form, but only a light layering remained…(4/5)

Smell: Sweet fig, brown sugar…think more sweet brown sugar smell than normal sweet cherry rock candy…apparent alcohol heat…mild malt, caramel, yeast and cream also…overall, a nice aroma…(3.5/5)

Taste: Fantastic taste! Very similar to the nose, candy sweetness, dark fruit, brown sugar, sweet malts and alcohol heat…there is subtle citrus flavor…smooth, rich, dark malt base…a hint of creaminess…warming spices come late, but finish brew nicely…(4/5)

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium to full carbonation…really, great feel on my tongue…smooth with very little residual taste…(3.5/5)

Overall: This is definitely one of my favorite Christmas winter warmer seasonals I’ve had to date…outstanding flavor, mixed it just right and I have to say, I like the darker malts used here…nothing is overdone and everyone seems to know their roles…the nose could awaken a bit more and if it were a little heavier, this would be an unbeatable brew…as it is, it’s highly recommended for your next Christmas party and with it’s relatively low ABV, I certainly could drink this all night and be merry (and competent)…(4/5)

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Photo of TimmyL
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip
A- Nut brown in color, tan head, average lacing.
S- A little light, nothing spectacular.
T- Sweet malt taste. Honey, some brown sugar, caramel. Slight bitter finish.
M- Lighter than I would expect.
O- Decent. Would have again but wouldn't seek out.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a chalice.

L - deep chestnut brown color with a off-white head that thinned to a ring leaving minimal lacing.

S - tootsie roll and earthiness.

T - sweet dark fruit with a hint of chocolate finishing dry and prickly.

F - medium bodied with lively carbonation, it goes down easy.

O - a pleasant brew.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best Before 04/11/13

A: Pours a ruby red color with a fingers worth of off-white head

S: Get the Trappsit yeast with plenty of dark fruits and maltiness. Has some sweetness from the candi syrup

T: Follows the nose, starts off with the fruitiness and the malts and goes into a light roasty character. Finishes dry

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth

O: A nice American-style dubbel with a nice Belgian flair. Nothing outstanding about this, but it is a nice winter beer. It is also readily available through the colder months, so that helps as well

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Smuttynose Winter Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.